In order to provide a review of the achievements for the Bar Foundation for the last fiscal year of July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, the Bar Foundation has issued its Annual Report, included below. It is a concise analysis of the highlights which occurred during that time period. Please give it a quick read and provide us with your comments and suggestions. The Bar Foundation continues to pursue its objectives as the philanthropic organization for West Virginia’s legal profession and justice system.
WEST VIRGINIA BAR FOUNDATION
JULY 1, 2007-JUNE 30, 2008
During the 2007-08 fiscal year, the West Virginia Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors undertook several actions to achieve its goals of improving the administration of justice and the provision of legal services to West Virginia’s citizens. The Board, which consists of a diverse group of fifteen lawyers from all parts of the state and all types of law practice, accomplished the following:
- Amended the bylaws to enhance the operation and governance of the organization.
- Elected new volunteer members of the policy making Board of Directors and selected qualified Officers.
- Provided the largest amount of grants to worthwhile entities in the Bar Foundation’s twenty year history.
- Received and approved the Independent Auditors’ Report for the 2006-07 fiscal year.
- Worked with the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Advisory Committee to propose improvements to increase IOLTA funding for free civil legal services for low income citizens, in accordance with the Order of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals.
- Held quarterly Board of Directors meetings and received reports and recommendations from the IOLTA Advisory Committee which also convened quarterly meetings.
- Presented an IOLTA news conference and news releases with remarks by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maynard, Bar Foundation Vice President Harris, and representatives from the WV Bankers Association and State Bar to announce IOLTA distributions totaling over $13 million since 1990.
- Continued the tradition of selecting extraordinary judges and lawyers as Bar Foundation Fellows. Less than 200 of the approximately 5,000 members of the judiciary and lawyers in the state have received this prestigious honor.
- Named an outstanding Lawyer Citizen of the Year.
- Made prudent financial decisions by paying off two significant loans early and by adding amounts to the Bar Foundation’s reserves.
- Entered into equitable multi-year lease agreements for the two Bar Foundation owned facilities housing the WV State Bar and the Lawyer Disciplinary Board/Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
- With the assistance of the IOLTA Advisory Committee, distributed more than $575,000 to grantees during the fiscal year.
- Worked with the Young Lawyers Section of the WV State Bar to update and distribute “A Practical Guide to Lawyer Trust Accounts” booklet for all WV lawyers with IOLTA accounts.
- Introduced the newly expanded Bar Foundation website—-www.wvbarfoundation.org—-with a significant amount of information and photographs regarding the group’s services and activities.
- Employed the first full time Executive Director staff person.